Multi-recording Artist or Multi-personality Artist?
The music composers, Butt Boy, Tekestral, and SonicSphere are the same composer. Does the composer, Doug, harbor a multi-personality disorder? You have to wonder why this accomplished composer of stage and screen uses multiple pen names to produce his prodigious line (make that lines) of music CD's.
"It just evolved on its own", Doug says. "I started with Butt Boy as my pen name 11 years ago because our marketing survey said it was a great name to use. And it has been. People don't forget the name when they go to look up my music on the web. Sure they giggle at the name at first, but then they always get more serious when they put on the headphones and realize that my music has much more quality than the silly name suggests."
If you haven't heard of Butt Boy, you must be new to the BDSM music scene. Starting with Feel the Music, Butt Boy has crafted nine albums of dark music perfect for pain and pleasure play. In the process, he created a new genre of music, "Dungeon music." Others have joined him in the field but none have surpassed or even matched his success. His album, Visions, was nominated for an OutMusic Award for Outstanding Instrumental Recording and he has been voted "Cool Composer" of 2003 by Rolling Stone Magazine. With the recent release of his "Best Of Butt Boy" compilation, it seems that the leather world's dirty little secret is coming out into the mainstream world. But after 10 years of building his cottage industry from being a composer for theater and industrial film to becoming the Dungeon music composer known and loved the world over, Butt Boy lamented his new-found fame.
"Ten years of writing the same dark Butt Boy music makes you crazy," he complains. "So I wanted to start a new line of music that's up-beat and danceable but not carrying the cloned sound of dance music today."
That new line carried a new pen name of Tekestral (Teh-KESS-trul) so his fans would be able to discern his Dungeon music CD's from his Dance music CD's. At his tenth anniversary, the bisexual Dungeon-music pioneer released his first CD of his new line of dance music albums. The CD, called Worship The Dance, received Doug's second nomination for an OutMusic Award for Outstanding Instrumental Recording. Certainly more melodic than most dance music, Tekestral's long instrumental songs are a trip into the imagination as they fuse Techno-Trance with Classical Orchestral instrumentation. Peppered with Middle-Eastern influences, Tekestral's music is refreshing and original in a music world full of copyists.
"I've always been careful not to follow the music styles of everyone else", Doug, the sole member of Tekestral, says. "It's very hard to come up with a sound that's all your own. But I think people on the dance floor will recognize the Tekestral sound from the standard dance music sound."
With the dungeon fans of Butt Boy now converting to dance fans of Tekestral, you would think Doug would be satisfied with just two pen names. Not so.
"We kept hitting this 'social wall' with some stores who said they love my music but can't put a CD on the shelves that says 'Butt Boy' on the cover. For years I just said 'screw them' and denounced their homophobia or prudishness or whatever-their-problem-was. But you can butt you head against that social wall only so many times before you get tired of it. So we decided we would write the same Butt Boy Dungeon music but put a more vanilla name on the cover. And SonicSphere was born."
His first album under the new SonicSphere name is entitled Slaves and it continues in the Butt Boy Dungeon music tradition of containing a variety of styles merged together to create his thought-provoking music. With melodies, counterpoint and emotions instead of just backbeat rhythms and weird sounds, SonicSphere's songs actually take you somewhere on a head-trip. And you'll love being in that headspace.
"Slaves, since it was written with both BDSM people and 'vanilla' people in mind, is my first attempt at making a social statement to the vanilla people while still giving the BDSM fans the kind of 'beating' music they've heard from Butt Boy CD's", Doug explains. "I'm trying to tell the vanilla people that we are all slaves to different aspects of our lives. Slaves to our jobs, slaves to our schedules, slaves to our emotions, to our physical needs and so on. I'm hoping that if they take the first step toward freeing themselves from these traditional bonds, they will be moving toward a more free-thinking lifestyle that will open their minds to Gays and the BDSM community."
Doug, ever the social and political radical, continues his personal fight against the far right that he considers wrong.
"It just seems natural that I should use my talent to help improve our screwed-up society. I wish everyone would do their part to slowly change the world. Not in just one generation, but over several."
If Doug-Butt Boy-Tekestral-SonicSphere seems a little like a psychiatrist's dream for studying multi-personality disorders, that's OK. This multi-recording artist is charting new territory in music and in social morays. BDSM, vanilla, Gay, straight, Dungeon music, dance music, SonicSphere, Tekestral..... They all mix together into a melting pot that is refreshing and oh-so tasty.
You can hear all the music at these sites.